A pirate’s life for Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian Chapter 21

(L-R): Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in Lucasfilm's THE MANDALORIAN, season three, exclusively on Disney+. ©2023 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

The Pirate Strikes Back in episode five of The Mandalorian, Season 3.

Chapter 21, aptly titled The Pirate, literally refers to the Pirate King Gorian Shard exacting revenge on Nevarro (of which Greef Karga is High Magistrate), but could also allude to Bo-Katan as she embarks on her next mission by the end of the episode.  As we come to know after the Mandalorians’ battle with the pirates, Bo-Katan has been permitted to remove her helmet and find their exiled kin in the hopes of restoring Mandalore to its former glory.  She has ‘walked both worlds’, and is the Armorer’s best bet for being able to rally the other Mandalorians (now turned mercenaries) to their cause.

High Magistrate Greef Karga is in the midst of some city planning when the pirates attack, prompting him to send a plea via astromech droid off to Captain Carson Teva of the New Republic.  Gorian Shard calls in from his Corsair ship to give Greef grief over the fact that he used to be Guild Master of the Nevarro Hunters and now he’s killing his men in cold blood.  The High Magistrate tells him Vane shot first and that’s why the Pirate King’s men are dead, while Shard threatens “This isn’t Sabacc. You can’t bluff your way out of this one, Karga.”

Some funky music plays as we are introduced to a Rangers of the New Republic coastal base, code Adelphi, where Carson Teva learns of Shard trying to turn Greef’s city into a pirate base.  A remarkable live-action introduction to a large purple Lasat named Zeb is a fan-favourite character from Rebels.  This is a big character to cameo, so it is likely that this is teasing his involvement in another spin-off series (perhaps Ahsoka if the plot involves a search for his best friend Ezra Bridger).

Carson makes the trek to Coruscant to request assistance from the New Republic.  As we saw in Chapter 19, Coruscant is bureaucratic as ever, and there is lots of crimson tape making it difficult to make any real progress.  Alia Kane, who is working in that very office, uses this knowledge to her advantage in reminding the requisitions officer that Nevarro is not a member planet.  Carson sees a potential connection between Moff Gideon’s presence on Nevarro and the sudden hostile takeover by the pirates, but Colonel Tuttle played by Tim Meadows is not having any of it.  Captain Teva’s mistrust of Alia only makes me respect him more as he reminds her “You and your sort didn’t see the light.  You were captured.”

Plan B (which, let’s be real, was always going to be Plan A) is to seek out the hidden Mandalorian covert and alert Din Djarin of Greef Karga’s troubles. ‘Blue Boy’ (Carson played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) is not welcome and Din explains that his mere presence means they will have to relocate their covert.  Din accepts the message after explaining that he gets a pass because he had done the same for him in Chapter 10’s The Passenger.

With the support of Bo-Katan, Mando receives the speaking hammer from the Armorer and petitions an intervention from the entire covert.  Paz Vizsla displays an incredible emotional side when he explains: “Why should we lay our lives down yet again?  Because we are Mandalorians.” ‘This is the way’ hits even harder when an entire covert of Mandalorians are unified over one cause.

While Bo-Katan and Din Djarin take to the skies in their respective ships, there are two ground teams of Mandalorians ready to drop in on Nevarro.  As Mando engages with snubfighters in his N-1 Starfighter, Bo-Katan attacks the Corsair head-on in her Kom’rk class fighter transport dubbed The Gauntlet.  As the Children of the Watch are boxed in by pirates in the courtyard, the Armorer shows up to even the odds (proving that the hammer is used for more than just speaking).

Vane sees the writing on the wall, and takes off before the Captain (Pirate King Gorian Shard) goes down with the ship.  Greef thanks the Mandalorians, offering them a decent tract of land, and assuring them “You may no longer have a home planet, but you do now have a home.”  This is a big step for the Children of the Watch, who previously dwelled in the sewers on Nevarro, and now their children will be able to enjoy the sunlight.

Bo-Katan Kryze is invited down to the trashed forge on Nevarro, where the Armorer in a surprise move asks her to remove her helmet.  She asks for her trust and explains that Mandalorians in general have strayed from the Way and that it is no longer enough for just a few to walk it.  The Armorer and perceived leader of the covert instills in Bo-Katan “You have walked both worlds. You are the one who can unite us.”

Whether or not this ends up being the case or Din Djarin and his Darksaber can pull it off or some combination of the two, the extra focus on Bo-Katan Kryze’s character in season three of The Mandalorian is elevating the series to essential viewing for Star Wars fans (especially those who enjoy Clone Wars and Rebels).  The title of Chapter 21, The Pirate, could have more meaning than the obvious pertaining to Nevarro’s attackers, as they are not the only ‘pirates’ referenced in this episode.

The final scene from director Peter Ramsay (of Into the Spider-Verse fame) leaves the audience on a bit of a cliffhanger, when Carson Teva stumbles upon a derelict Lambda shuttle that is confirmed to have been carrying prisoner Moff Gideon who clearly never made it to trial.  The New Republic crew is found dead and Gideon missing, but also discovered are traces of Beskar steel left from the skirmish (thanks to astromech R7’s unique probe).  If Moff Gideon was taken by Mandalorians, were they taking him to exact revenge as Paz Vizsla would if he had his way, or have Bo-Katan’s former followers truly lost their Way and become the ruthless mercenaries she claimed they had become?  Looks like for the time being: It’s a Pirate’s life for Bo.